How to protect files from encryption by Bora ransomware

Also Known As: Bora virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Bora ransomware removal instructions

What is Bora?

Bora is malicious software designed to encrypt files and create a ransom message ("_readme.txt") that contains information about how to decrypt data. Software of this type is called ransomware. This particular ransomware infection was discovered by Michael Gillespie and is part of Djvu, a family of ransomware-type programs. Like most programs of this type, Bora renames encrypted files by adding an extension to filenames. In this case, it adds the ".bora" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.bora".

According to the cyber criminals who designed Bora, this ransomware encrypts all files including photos, documents, databases, and so on. The only way to recover them is to purchase a decryption tool and unique key. The cost is $980, however, if contacted within 72 hours of encryption, cyber criminals provide a discount of 50%. To receive instructions about how to make payment, each victim must send an email to gorentos@bitmessage.ch or gerentoshelp@firemail.cc containing a personal ID (appointed to each victim individually). The email can also include one file that cyber criminals offer to decrypt free of charge. They offer free decryption as 'proof' that they have a valid tool that can decrypt files. Only ransomware developers have these decryption tools, however, you should not trust them. They often send no decryption tools even if the ransom is paid. Decryption without the involvement of the developers is generally impossible, leaving victims just one (free) option: restore files from a backup created prior to encryption.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Bora decrypt instructions

There are many ransomware-type programs, most of which prevent victims from accessing their files so that cyber criminals can demand ransom payments (blackmail). Common differences are size of ransom and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt files. In most cases, it is impossible to decrypt files encoded by ransomware without valid tools held only by the ransomware developers. Decryption without their involvement is possible only when ransomware is not complete, has bugs/flaws, and so on. Typically, the only way to recover files without having to pay a ransom is to restore them from a backup. Therefore, have your data backed up and store it on a remote server (for example, Cloud) or unplugged storage device. Examples of other ransomware-type programs include CASH, Sapphire, and Bguu.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Cyber criminals proliferate malware using spam campaigns, Trojans, fake software updaters, untrustworthy software download sources, and unofficial software activation tools. Using spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or web links that download malicious files. In most cases, they send Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, executable files (.exe and other files of this type), archives (ZIP, RAR, and so on), and JavaScript files. They send these emails to trick recipients into opening the attachments, which then infect computers with malware. Trojans usually proliferate other programs of this type. Thus, having a computer infected with a Trojan often leads to chain infections. Fake software updaters infect systems by installing malware rather than the expected updates, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated programs that are installed on the computer. Untrustworthy software download sources such as freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and so on), third party downloaders, and other such tools are also used to proliferate malware. Systems become infected when people open malicious files. Cyber criminals disguise these files as legitimate or harmless and then trick people into installing malware. Software "cracking" tools are programs that many people use to bypass paid activation of licensed software, however, these these tools simply install malware instead.

Threat Summary:
Name Bora virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32573423), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GXAC), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Stop.ef), Full List (VirusTotal)
Encrypted Files Extension .bora
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact gorentos@bitmessage.ch, gorentoshelp@firemail.cc
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Additional Information This malware is designed to modify the Windows "hosts" file to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites (more information below).
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Removal

To eliminate Bora virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

Most cyber criminals spread various malware using similar methods. Typically, they proliferate it through spam campaigns, Trojans, fake software updaters, untrustworthy software download sources and unofficial software activation tools. Using spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or web links that download malicious files. In most cases, they send Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, executable files (.exe and other files of this type), archives (ZIP, RAR, and so on), and JavaScript files. They send these emails to trick recipients into opening the attachments, which then infect computers with malware. Trojans spread other programs of this type and, thus, having a computer infected with a Trojan often leads to chain infections. Fake software updaters cause infect systems by installing malware rather than expected updates, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated programs installed on the computer. Untrustworthy software download sources such as freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and so on), third party downloaders and other similar tools are also used to spread malware. Systems are infected when people open malicious files. Typically, cyber criminals disguise these files as legitimate, harmless, and so on, and then successfully trick people into installing malware. Software "cracking" tools are programs that people use to bypass paid activation of licensed software. These tools do not activate any software and simply install malware. If your computer is already infected with Bora, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Bora ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
https://we.tl/t-NrkxzoMm4o
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.


To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gerentoshelp@firemail.cc

Your personal ID:
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Bora (".bora" extension):

Files encrypted by Bora

IMPORTANT NOTE! - As well as encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from the Djvu malware family also add a number of entries to the Windows "hosts" file. The entries contain the URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is done to prevent users from accessing malware security websites and seeking help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).

Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:

Tro Ransomware adding websites to Windows Hosts file

There are currently two versions of Djvu ransomware infections - old and new. The old versions were designed to encrypt data by using a hard-coded "offline key" when the infected machine had no internet connection or the server was timing out/not responding. Therefore, some victims were able to decrypt data using a tool developed by cyber security researcher Michael Gillespie. Since the encryption mechanism has been slightly changed (hence the new version), the decrypter no longer works. If your data has been encrypted by an older version, you might be able to restore it with the aforementioned tool (download link). It supports a total of 134 file extensions and you can find the entire list in the "About" screen.

Screenshot of STOP/Djvu decrypter by Michael Gillespie:

STOP/Djvu ransomware decrypter by Michael Gillespie

Bora ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Bora virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Bora virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Bora virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Bora ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Bora ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Bora are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Bora, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Bora ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Bora ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Bora virus QR code
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